The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

May 10, 2006 by scott

Back in the glory days of SCTV, one of Martin Short’s gem-like offerings was a unforgivingly accurate parody of Jerry Lewis. Not the wailing, adenoidal, “LaaAAAAAAdy!” Jerry of the 50s, but the lachrymose, lanolin-haired, latter day Jerry, the one who haunted TV variety programs and the Merv Griffin Show, and seemed to stalk the land like a dark spectre in aviator glasses and a stale-looking tux. Short relentlessly hammered home every detail — the steamroller solipsism, the weepy, braying song stylings, the shtick that was both perfunctory and needy — until it seemed less like an impression and more like an assassination.
Then, a decade and a half later, I saw Short hosting some evening of female comics on basic cable, and he was doing the same type of tired, hacky shtick — mugging, pratfalling, and hawking up lame gags with all the care and craft of a loogie. And it dawned on me: sooner or later, we become the thing we parody. Which seems to be what’s happening to the lions of the wingnut bloggotocracy.
For years (going all the way back to the Reagan administration for some of them) rightwing pundits have been mocking the shibboleths of the left, railing against “sensitivity” (which somehow manages to be both a sign of weakness and a tool of totalitarianism at the same time, and which can cover everything from school regulations against bullying, to actual–gasp!– informed commentary about the Middle East, to corporate rules against Bill O’Reilly sexually harrassing people) or the musty, “do your own thing”-style hippie tropes that they seem to think are on the lips of every placard-waving anti-war activist. And now karma (not quite Instant Karma, but pretty damn close) has caught up to them, and they find themselves reduced to delivering the same rhetorical jabs over and over again like a Rhode Island Red dutifully squatting over her nest to deliver the daily speckled brown.
The rightwing luminaries of the blogosphere like to point out, ad nauseum, that liberals are bereft of ideas, or captive to discredited policies like progressive taxation, balanced budgets, or Communism. And yet, speaking as one who is not averse to grabbing a Wiffle bat and whacking at the lowest of low-hanging fruit, the easiest people to parody are invariably the most mannered, lazy, and predictable (“Can I get a HEH! Ho! Can I get an INDEED! Ho!) The contestants in our first annual Write Like a Wingnut contests are all smart, funny, talented people, and one of the things that made this such a difficult challenge is that nowadays, most wingnuts seem to come with a Self-Parody setting. The bloviations of the Malkins, Coulters, Hannitys, et al are the literary equivalent of Scrubbing Bubbles — they lampoon themselves, so you don’t have to.
Actually, when s.z. announced the contest, I figured we’d be inundatedwith faux-Coulter pieces, but most people didn’t bother. Perhaps because Ann’s act is rapidly coming to resemble the 70s-era Jerry Lewis–we know all the jokes before she even opens her mouth. More and more, her columns seem less like they’re written, and more like they’re assembled . Like Mad-Libs. Plug in the words liberal, terrorist, traitor, homosexual, and the untrustworthy or undeserving ethnic groupde jour, and you’ve got her next speech to the College Republicans. In order to stay even inches ahead of her parodists she’s had to start openingly calling for the death of her political enemies, which takes her out of the realm of TV talking heads and makes her, basically, Saddam Hussein with a smaller following and a bigger sack.
All of which is a painfully roundabout way of saying that if feels like something may be about to change; as though Instapundit and Roger Simon and Little Green Footballs and Hugh Hewitt are all headlining on the Keith-Orpheum Vaudeville circuit, and living the high life, but it’s October 6, 1927, and The Jazz Singer just opened down the street. Which isn’t to say they’re about to go the way of the dinosaur–Jerry was still packing them into Vegas only a few of years ago–but it doesn’t really seem as though they’re poised to sweep the nation with a 20-year old act that’s even beginning to bore Branson. Of course, I’ve been wrong before, but I’d still recommend that at the very least they hit a few Open Mikes around town and try out some new material.
And as for the intentional parodies we’ve been enjoying for the past few days, kudos to our contestants , all of whom managed impersonations that were both hilarious and mildly nauseating. It seems, though, that the People have spoken, and this year’s favorite is Neil Cavuto-manqu� Simon Waugh. To quote commenter A cranny mint: “May his oil continue to soften and crisp.”
Congratulations, Simon, we hereby crown you Miss Write Like A Wingnut 2006! Click on the Contact link at the top of the page and tell us where you’d like us to send your Wo’C mug, or just wait until Michelle Malkin posts your name, address and phone number.

18 Responses to “AND THE MUG O’ CRAP GOES TO…”

WooHoo! Gratz, Simon! Your entry made me want to claw my eyes out and vomit at the same time, so much like Cauvto you were! Enjoy the mug!
OK, enough o’ that poo–when do the nominations for Ultimate Wingnut 2006� start? Scumlicious!
You were all wonderful, of course. But congratulations to Simon, and when he gives you his address and it turns out it actually *was* Lou Dobbs pretending to be Simon Waugh pretending to be Neil Cavuto, I expect that information to be posted.
The pet baptisms begin now.
My loss is clearly a liberal conspiracy. It’s because you insist on counting votes in numerical order, rather than the long tested and approved version by which one piles the votes together and then throws goat entrails into the mix; at the following full moon, you pray (something you libs I know would never consider) for divine guidance, you eat the goat stew, belch, and then announce the holiest candidate the winner. That’s how it’s done. Your reliance on math is what holds you back. In other words…that is why you fail.
See? I told you David E should win! I am SO tired of voting for the guy who doesn’t win – Humphrey, Tsongas, Bill Bradley, Al Gore, John Kerry, and now David E. Damn.
Slightly O/T (it does deal with a “pundit,” however) … Did anyone else read David Brooks in the NYT this morning??? “Dewy green faeries of sanity.” Now THERE’S a quote. What on earth does he have in his water cooler?
Bah! Once again the steatopygian lesbo-feminist baby-eating left has shown their true insipid colors and puked lentil quiche all over the clashpoints of the only real man to “grace” this blog.
I’ll be in the bar with the Rev. Swank, swapping stories consoling and showing him my collection of big game hunting thongs if you want to apologise.
Yay, Simon! What is it that the MC says at the Miss America pageant, “You’re all winners!”? Since my youngest kid’s bar mitzvah will happen on Saturday, I didn’t have much time to read the entries, much less enter the competition. But I had a hard time deciding, and I certainly can’t wait until the next “Write Like a Wingnut” competition comes around! (At least I don’t have any more bar mitzvahs to make me tear my hair out.)
Shorter Scott C.: Coulter has jumped the shark.
Um…Yeah. That’s pretty much what I meant.
Way to go! …although I would never say anything out loud about rigged contests… Meanwhile, back in nothing-for-my-craptastic-little-entry-land, where might one purchase such a fine mug? And you, no, you don’t know that I’m going to pretend I won…
I made the big time – quoted on a Wo’c entry.
Doug Bile Says:
May 11th, 2006 at 1:03 pm
Bah! Once again the steatopygian lesbo-feminist baby-eating left has shown their true insipid colors and puked lentil quiche all over the clashpoints of the only real man to �grace� this blog.

I know Simon Waugh. I’ve worked with Simon Waugh. Simon Waugh is a friend of mine.
You are NO Simon Waugh… :-)
You must have one hell of a collection of mugs to distribute to so, so, so many! :>)
Meanwhile, back in nothing-for-my-craptastic-little-entry-land, where might one purchase such a fine mug?
Why, from a CafePress link Coming Soon to finer Crap-oriented blogs everywhere. Well…here.
Good work, Simon (or at least, good bad work). Can I be Miss Uncongeniality? I was doing Malkin, after all.
Who is this David E. Damn guy? I want to change my vote to him (sorry, Tara).
And Marion, I’m guessing pixie dust.

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